Shining a Hot Light on Emerging Photoabsorber Materials: The Power of Rapid Radiative Heating in Developing Oxide Thin-Film Photoelectrodes

Ronen Gottesman, Isabella Peracchi, Jason L. Gerke, Rowshanak Irani, Fatwa F. Abdi, Roel van de Krol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The unique possibilities of rapid thermal processing (RTP) for overcoming two significant challenges in the development of oxide thin-film photoelectrodes are demonstrated. The first is the need to exceed normal temperature limits for glass-based F:SnO2 substrates (FTO, ∼550 °C) to achieve the desired density, crystallinity, and low defect concentrations in metal oxides. Flash-heating of Ta2O5, TiO2, and WO3 photoelectrodes to 850 °C is possible without damaging the FTO. RTP heating-rate dependencies suggest that the emission spectrum of the RTP lamp, which blue-shifts with increasing heating power, can significantly influence the crystallization behavior of wide-bandgap photoelectrodes (≥1.8 eV). The second challenge is avoiding the formation of structural defects, trap states, grain boundaries, and phase impurities, which can be particularly difficult in multinary metal oxides. RTP treatment of α-SnWO4, a promising photoanode material, resulted in an increase in grain size and favorable crystallographic reorientation, culminating in a new performance record.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-522
Number of pages9
JournalACS Energy Letters
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022 American Chemical Society

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